The Tree of Life

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Many of you probably have not seen the movie The Tree of Life from 2011. From what I recall, it was only released in select theaters. I don’t want to call it an “indie” film, because the director and actors (Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, Sean Penn) are well established and very well known. The overall feeling or atmosphere is very indie and artsy however! This is perhaps the reason why it wasn’t shown in very many theaters and wasn’t seen by very many people. These are gems you must seek out.

This film was the beautiful handiwork of Terrence Malick whose works include The Thin Red Line, The New World, and The Bad Lands, all of which depict grand and natural landscapes where the actors are just part of the bigger picture. This isn’t a movie you should seek out to see Brad Pitt or Jessica Chastain or Sean Penn for, even though I really like all of them! If you do see this movie only with the intention of seeing your favorite actor, you might be disappointed.

This is a film you should seek out for its mystery and beauty. It shows so much of the complexity of human life, down from the very, very beginnings of life itself. Instead of giving you a background of the movie, I usually like to show stills that hopefully entice you to see it without giving much away!

tree of life jessica chastain brad pitt still movie christian tree of life jessica chastain brad pitt still movie christian tree of life jessica chastain brad pitt still movie christian tree of life jessica chastain brad pitt still movie christian tree of life jessica chastain brad pitt still movie christian

Instead of giving you some kind of philosophy on what the actual Tree of Life is (as opposed to the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil) from my viewpoint based on historical and religious texts, I decided to give you a series of lovely photos from the film of the same name. The movie is as mysterious as the meaning of life itself and the meaning and source of the elusive Tree of Life. Well, maybe not.

Have you seen any amazing art films lately?

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The sparkling piece of bling (Tree of Life Jewelry) from the first photo above is Artisan jewelry from Prana Jewelry.  They make Yoga Jewelry and other symbolic adornments shared with many cultures and religious backgrounds with a modern and fashionable twist. This website is a great place to shop for gifts! This necklace is made of high quality diamonds and excellent craftsmanship.

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What Colors to Wear on New Year’s Eve

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Photo source: Ben Watts of Self Magazine

I don’t know about you, but I like to think of New Year’s Eve in three colors—gold, silver, and multicolor. Okay, the multicolor part was cheating. You know what I mean though. Not a solid color dress! Here are some last minute tips on what color(s) you might want to opt for your New Year’s Eve party tonight.

I personally don’t like sticking to color or pattern guidelines on certain occasions just because they are limiting and too confining, but these colors are my personal preference for the New Year. I would love to hear yours!

Gold

eva-longoria-alice-olivia--sequin-dress It’s not too hard to find a similar dress as what Eva Longoria is wearing above. From Badgley Mischka to Forever 21, there is a similar dress for anyone’s budget! Although if you do choose to wear an all sequin dress, just prepare to have someone dressed exactly as you. karenelsongoldsequindress Karen Elson above has worn gold sparkly dresses quite a few number of times! Her red hair and fair skin really compliment the gold color. promtimes lace dress modest This stunning floor length evening gown is not quite gold, but it has sparkles on it and is a faint beige color. I just love the texture of this so much that I had to zoom in the features for you! The model with her hair and figure makes me think of a ballerina.

Silver

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Alessandra Ambrosio looks likes a Greek goddess here. She’s wearing a silver sequin dress with a train. This VS supermodel is proof that you can wear a conservative length dress and still look sexy. It’s really all about how you carry yourself with confidence!

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If you’re going to a less crazy New Year’s Eve party, you might want to opt for something more demure and toned down. Both dresses are metallic silver with the left chiffon dress being more playful and the right two-piece dress for a more mature or professional look. These could easily be worn to a wedding as well.

Black

carey mulligan katie holmes lbd black dress lace chanel modest modesty lady like I would personally go for a shiny or plain black dress with sparkling and bold silver accessories on New Year’s Eve. However if you’ve got a dress like Carrie Mulligan’s Chanel sequin dress and Katie Holmes’ flapper lace dress above, you might not need to accessorize much at all! blackdress newyearseve partymodest Most of us probably won’t be going to a ball tonight, but if I were I’d definitely want to go with a full length dress like the one on the left above. Most of us, if going to a party at all, will want to stick with a casual dress (or a casual outfit with pants) with some sort of flare or spark. This knee length peplum dress above paired with chunky silver jewelry  is resonating with me right now.

Multicolor (Metallic)

careymulligan-prada sequin dress modest halter Cutie Carey Mulligan rocking this reflective mermaid sequin halter dress from Prada. If you look closely at her arms and face, you can see the sequins reflecting light!   Marion Cotillard Zuhair Murad dress Marion Cotillard is known to wear very interesting pieces on the red carpet. A lot of what she wears ends up in the yay or nay lists, but I honestly like many of her choices. They may not be what you’d see ending up as trends, but that just make them all the more awesome. Her dress from Zuhair Murad above is a very pretty dress, sparkly enough for New Year’s and magical enough for a fairy’s wardrobe. marion-cotillard-dress colorful rainbow metallic silver Here again is Cotillard with a metallic rainbow dress. Her simple side swept pony tail compliments the overall simplicity of this dress but contrasts the bold range of colors. She looks very youthful in this dress. I say this is a yay!

What are your plans for tonight? What are you wearing?

 

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Big Scarves Are Like Warm Hugs & Sony’s The Interview

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Scarves to me are the ultimate accessory. You can wear them in so many different ways. They also protect you from the cold and harsh winds of winter. I remember a few years ago when my husband and I went around the streets of Chicago in early February, I was wearing this very scarf on my face, covering everything but my eyes! I don’t remember why we chose Chicago in the dead of winter. It might’ve been a tempting Groupon offer, but this scarf definitely was a lifesaver!

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How was your Christmas? Some of my cousins and their friends went to see The Interview with Rob and I on Christmas day. I really wish the funniest people in the world didn’t have to be so crass, because they would still be the funniest people in the world without being so. Truthfully, I couldn’t stop laughing throughout the movie. I loved it except for the long stripper scene and of course the overall crassness you’d expect from Rogen-Franco taken to the next level.

I don’t care what Greta Van Susteren or any of the real movie critics say about it. It’s not so much about your taste in movies or humor that’s in question, but more about supporting and positively reinforcing the freedom of speech aspect of it. You might not want to see it, because it’s definitely not a family-friendly movie! However, there is freedom in choosing. Once we allow someone else’s rights to be taken away, we are allowing ours to be taken away as well. Anyway, we are still alive and didn’t get blown up. In times like these when you’ve got a dictator like Kim in the world, it’s especially unnecessary and cowardly to be politically correct. Rob wrote about censorship and freedom of speech recently on Modern Life Survivalist.

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Despite the holiday cheer and merrymaking, many of us feel lonely at this time of year. It could be the lack of sunlight, imbalanced immune system, materialism, or the expectation of good feelings or of company. No matter how much we direct our focus for this season on the birth of Christ (even though many of you know December 25 isn’t actually when Christ was born), we are still sad. This feeling happens a lot on Valentine’s Day for obvious reasons, or on birthdays when barely anyone remembers it unless you’re on Facebook. What helps me to feel happy is to stop thinking about myself and give love and attention to someone else. Big scarves are like a warm embrace. Be that scarf that someone else needs on a cold night.

 

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Marijuana Sunday (Note: Humor not Heresy)

rachel dahl alamodest modest modesty fur animal print cheetah winter knee high boots rachel dahl alamodest modest modesty fur animal print cheetah winter knee high boots rachel dahl alamodest modest modesty fur animal print cheetah winter 11-29g2 rachel dahl alamodest modest modesty fur animal print cheetah winter knee high boots rachel dahl alamodest modest modesty fur animal print cheetah winter knee high boots rachel dahl alamodest modest modesty fur animal print cheetah winter knee high boots

This post is intended to be lighthearted and not at all meant to encourage debauchery. Let’s clear this up first and foremost—I’ve never done marijuana.

I would like to share an unfortunate but funny story that occurred many, many years ago. When I was in high school, I used to be in charge of our church’s PowerPoint and video presentations. I dressed up backgrounds and photos on the slides to match the sermon for the day. It was Palm Sunday, and naturally, I wanted the background to have palm leaves. Off to Google image search I went (past midnight I’m sure) to find the perfect background. At the time, I did not care so much about copyright laws. I was a kid, and I was reckless.

Sunday morning came, our pastor’s sermon began, and my slides were live to an audience of about two hundred. Many were there just as visitors, being that it was Palm Sunday. A few minutes after the sermon started, one of the other pastors snuck up next to me in the dark pit where I was listening for cues for the next bullet point. I was usually alone down there, with the exception of some days when my older brother would help out. He would leave me alone down there whenever his girlfriend visited him at church. That day, his girlfriend was there. I was alone that Sunday morning, and needless to say, I was surprised by the company. So the other pastor whispered to me and said, “Rachel, your PowerPoint background has marijuana.”

I froze like Windows 98.

Didn’t I say I was a kid and reckless? I was also innocent. I was even trying to make excuses by saying, “Well, I thought it was actually a Canadian maple leaf.” For sure, I was living in the land of maple leaf.

I’m not here to talk about whether or not weed is good or bad for you. That is a topic I’d probably discuss on our other blog, Modern Life Survivalist! I do know that since extensive studies have come out on it, many intelligent and even religious people I’ve talked to either believe that’s it’s not that bad for you or have used it medicinally. I personally have met enough people who have been affected negatively by it that I don’t think it is good to use recreationally. Either way, I’d like to hear your experience or thoughts on it!

 

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I’ve been very much into neutrals lately. Today, I was wearing browns and blacks, earthy but classy. The top is from SammyDress, the leopard print pencil skirt is from Forever 21, and the fur bomber jacket I am currently living in is thrifed. I’m also wearing dainty silver jewelry sent to me by BikiniLuxe. They have lots of beachy and hippie designs for a very affordable price. They have a Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday sale for 30% off with coupon “DISCOUNT30)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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